For those unfamiliar with Football Outsiders' success and stop rates, we'll begin with a quick refresher course. A successful play is one that gains 45% or more of the needed yards on 1st down, 60% or more of the needed yards on 2nd down, and 100% or more of the needed yards on 3rd/4th down. A stop is preventing the offense from gaining those yards.
On Offense, the San Diego Chargers appeared to be rather successful on Monday night through the first three quarters of play before they unexpectedly collapsed in the fourth. The success rates, which you can find at the bottom of this post, tell a different story. Philip Rivers and the Chargers' offense were successful on only 36.5% of their plays from scrimmage against the Texans. What kept them in the game, and what gave the illusion of a productive offense was their unsustainable success (relative to 1st & 2nd downs) on 3rd and 4th downs. Granted, teams have maintained relatively higher 3rd/4th down rates over the course of an entire season before, but the odds are against it, and the imbalance predicted the fourth quarter collapse of the offense.
|Offensive Success Rate|
On Defense, the stats actually tell the same story as our eyes did during the game. John Pagano's defense is significantly better against the run than the pass, and their lack of depth reveals itself in the second half of games. This is especially true once the offense's inability to sustain drives without converting on 3rd and 4th downs. The defense was slightly worse on those downs than on 1st and 2nd, but this was largely a function of being worse against the pass even in obvious passing situations. The one thing that stood out was the individual stats. Eric Weddle and Bront Bird led the team in Stops with seven each. A stop, for our purposes, is defined as a tackle, interception, or forced fumble that resulted in an unsuccessful offensive. It perhaps says something that even as often as he is slow to react or out of position, Bird still "stopped" seven offensive plays, more than any other linebacker on the team (Donald Butler and Jarret Johnson both picked up six).
|Defensive Stop Rates|